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hd_worldcup: Tarot Prompt - The Hermit

"Upright: Caution. Discretion. Need for prudence. Counsel sought and taken. Inner calm. A need to reach into one's inner resources. Assimilation. Planning. A wise guide or spiritual mentor. A time to stand back and reflect upon circumstances

Reversed: Refusal of counsel or assistance. immaturity. Isolation from others. A negative resistance towards help. Groundless suspicions about the motives of others. Imprudent actions or decisions. The continuation of bad habits or unproductive lifestyles. Foolish obstinacy. The reliance on one's own resources that are inadequate." - paranormality.com

I actually read the next round's fics already and should have the commentary up in an hour - the upcoming post also includes two recs!

The One where Draco Recovers from Pneumonia
A Caller in the Storm -- Team Fanon
In this fic we had Hermit!Harry and Sick!Draco who seems very much like he's got a death wish. The story made me think of the label "TWT" from the Gundam Wing fandom (Timeline What Timeline) since I couldn't tell initially whether it was epilogue compliant or even book 7 compliant - especially since it's a Team Fanon entry.

The fic opens up with a quick runthrough of Harry's reasons for going into seclusion. The events are explained quickly and in the first few scenes we spend most of our time catching up on what's happened. The format didn't quite gel with me since I would have preferred to have been shown the developments instead of being told. It was like I was reading someone's blow by blow description of what happens in the story instead of the actual story itself.

I might have enjoyed it more if the fic had opened up with Draco's POV as he searched for Hermit!Harry - especially since he collapses almost immediately after locating our boy wonder XD Draco was rather non aggressive in the story. In my mind a sick Draco who's on the mend would end up whinging about *something*, no matter the company. Him being so malleable definitely felt fanon.

I don't know. The fic was ultra smooth. As a story, I didn't quite embrace the characters and the interaction. I wonder though, whether my reaction would have been different if this was the script for a movie. Harry's refuge seems like a place out of time and seeing it visually would have set a different sort of mood for me. I could see this in a comic strip, with lillithium's style of softer, more atmospheric painting.

The One the Sleeping Beauty Curse
The Hermit -- Team Canon
The weird thing about this round is that my mind is actually making connections between Team Fanon's entry and Team Canon's. Both fics have quite a bit of exposition, some of which I could have done without. This fic had more balanced with dialogue and interaction though. I was able to get into the story when Lucius appeared (he totally made me perk up). Still, the later interaction between Harry and Draco develops so smoothly that I would have expected it from any team...except Team Canon.

My main issues can probably be traced back to the fact that we don't get to see Harry change from boy hero to regular joe (who happens to be an Auror). His change in personality and the subsequent relationship with Draco felt jarring because of that. I'm also used to Harry running around saving the day with some typically Gryffindorish feats of stupidity bravery. Without that, he felt...impotent.

I liked the initial concept of the Sleeping Beauty!Curse on Andromeda and Narcissa but it felt a bit convenient - since it made the H/D development super smooth.

I wish there had been more focus on Draco's depression - IMO it would have allowed for more character development. In the end I went hunting and reread The Business of Saving Souls instead.

The One with House-Elf!Draco
Equal Vows -- Team Epilogue
Okay, there haven't been too many fest fics to make me go WTF from the opening scene but this one definitely did it. Draco swears fealty to Harry which results in him having to call him "Master". All of this done voluntarily mind you, the idea being that Draco wouldn't owe Harry a life debt as long as Harry got Snape back somehow.

"I chose this," he said. He didn't flinch back from her touch, but he looked at Harry while she touched him. "I chose this, knowing what I chose. Master is the only one who can help me now ... the only wizard strong enough to conquer death. He's done it himself."
I never really embraced the concept. I kept remembering Harry owing Narcissa a life debt too. And Narcissa having done an Unbreakable Vow with Snape in the past...surely Draco could have just persuaded her to convince Harry to bring Snape back instead? The bonding just felt like a plot device.

Let me just say, reading "P-Pot-Master" so many times drove me up the wall. And while Harry's characterization seemed alright on the whole, I expected him to beat up Draco after a while. There's only so much sarcasm one can take. The plot also stagnates as Draco keeps making the same request to Harry and Harry denies being able to do anything. It really felt like the fic could have been much, much shorter and still kept the storyline intact.

The concept did get me thinking though. If Harry were to be placed in a situation where he would be able to control Draco - I can't imagine him not getting seduced by the power. My mind goes to Your Every Wish in that respect. The idea of Harry as a hero has always been about saving people's lives - when you come down to it, he's actually been pretty willing to take advantage of the benefits his position in life gets him. He's done it in the past so I can't really see him rejecting Draco's blowjob the way he did. Also, Draco might be a coward in a lot of things and unwilling to die but becoming a house-elf would destroy him on a personal level. IMO The fic doesn't really explore the psychology behind a situation like this.

The One With Insane!Harry as Sparky Sparky Boom Man
To the Sheer Love of Madness -- Team EWE
This is most definitely an AU fic. The world has changed after the war. The Ministry in no longer under old Voldie's control but instead has one Lucius Malfoy as Minister of Magic. Unusual? Well, something similar was done in Diagon Burning. What really stands out though is Draco as the poster child of the resistance who turned against his father for killing his first love. Now, add in Harry Potter, emaciated and kinda mad and we have one very unique fic.

This fic plunges you into the drama right away - no long explanations of events for which I was unbelievably grateful. Dangerous!Draco actually managed to come off in character IMO. Oh and while all the Harrys in this round seem at least a bit weird, this is the only one where the other characters also notice the oddness.

Harry returns from years of disappearance and he is nowhere near lucid. He is actually in a post apocalyptic state of sorts, not just because of a number of curses placed on him but also because Ron, Hermione and Ginny are dead. Harry was cursed with a spell that caused his magic to become volatile. The resulting explosion decimated everything around him - including his best friends and girlfriend. So we watch him try to deal with that emotional trauma while Draco deals with the curses.

The climax is oddly NOT epic - I think we tend to expect great epic battles, but in this case Draco just met his dad, cast Legilimancy and saved the day (it actually reads better than it sounds!). And Harry's cure doesn't come without a price. It was a different fic from the norm. The only other H/D fic I can think of, with one character losing their mind for a period and Lucius as a villain (who dies) is Adamant and Starlight. It was written over 4 years ago and yet I can still remember how hard it hit me - especially when we get our Draco back ;_; The main difference from that and this fic is that the roles of victim and savior are switched. Its hard to find a believable victim!Harry fic but Team EWE's entry does it well :)

My Top Team for The Hermit: Team EWE

All Tarot Prompts can be found via the fests tag.

My masterlist of recs for hd_worldcup can be found here
There was another fic I've read before that had Lucius cursing Harry and Draco broke that curse. I'm trying very hard to remember the title but I remember that come sundown, Harry would curse and swear at everyone within his vicinity. Anyway!

I'll read Team EWE since it's almost similar to that fic I've read before.
That's A Thousand Beautiful Things - and I related that more with the Arc of the Pendulum (The Reversed Werewolf!Harry fic) than with this round XD
I think it's the curse thing that I am comparing Team EWE's with it. Off topic: That was a fantastic fic. As for Diagon Burning, I can't remember which chapter I actually stopped at because it took so long for new chapters.

Annd I should get to reading that.
Haha yes - ATBT is actually one of my top H/D fics *ever*. Diagon Burning is very unusual and doesn't really lend itself to easy reading - still, politician!Lucius was in it and that's what got me going "!!!"

I have a fic in the next round that really connected and another that was super fun ♥ - will post up the commentary this hour :)
Mad!Harry fic was the only one I liked from this wave -- will be reccing. It was vivid and unusual, and although the ending was rather too fast, I liked the images the author created.

The rest fell flat. House-Elf!Draco made me dizzy with small leaps of logic and completely unbelievable reasons for character actions (or no reasons at all).

Lake District fic was OOC -- well, fanon, yeah -- and, well, no plot, no drama, no nothing.

Sleeping Beauty fic: I liked the curse but the story went past me. I don't remember anything but the curse by now.
Yeah, this round just did not connect with me generally. Insane!Harry was the exception but it didn't quite hit my emotional buttons either. And when it comes to temporary madness et all, Adamant & Starlight's Draco will always be the one I think of - so I couldn't really put a ♥ ♥ ♥ on any. The Insane!Harry fic was def a good read though.